Straight Talk: Accountability

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
I hope you have been enjoying this phenomenal spring weather! I think this time last year we were hovering just above freezing, weren't we? The warm sunshine should encourage you to get out on Thursday, March 22, to support the Air Force Assistance Fund kick-off run starting at the Minuteman Commons at 3 p.m.

Today's guest columnist is 2nd Lt. Donald Davison, 66th Medical Squadron Information Systems element flight chief. Davison reminds us about accountability and discusses not just holding others accountable for their actions, but holding ourselves accountable, as well. In today's complex world, there is rarely a single action that causes a poor outcome, but rather a chain of events that leads us into our predicament. It is all too easy to blame the rest of the chain and not take responsibility for the part that is ours. Read on for wise words from the lieutenant.

Jack LaLanne once said, "If you want to change somebody, don't preach to him. Set an example and shut up."

Setting a good example is a part of being a good leader. A good leader has the ability to persuade, touch feelings and give solid reasons for an action. If you are looking for respect and admiration, it comes with setting good examples. How can we expect our employees to do something if we will not do it ourselves?

Without setting a good example, do you believe people will follow you? To set a good example, there has to be a philosophy from the top of an organization, and it has to manifest all the way through to the bottom. Leading by example lessens the need to explain things to employees because they can see it, believe it, understand it and respect it in your behavior. Keep a positive attitude and be confident when hard times hit. Do not hold back; give everything your all. Finally, and maybe most importantly, be there for the people around you when they need emotional support.

Take a break from the monotony of your job. Step back from your desk and look around at the individuals within your organization. Ask yourself a simple question. Do these people follow me or do they just listen to my commands because of the rank or position I hold? If you answered the latter, you may want to rethink your strategies.

We didn't make a commitment to the United States Air Force just to do it. We joined because we wanted to serve our country. We do our jobs because we believe in the philosophy of the Air Force, and we should perform these jobs to the best of our ability. Do not just hold your subordinates accountable, but hold yourself accountable, as well.